Entire Arunachal to be brought under air connectivity in 10 yrs: Sinha

ITANAGAR, Sep 30: Entire Arunachal Pradesh will be brought under air connectivity within the next 10 years, Union MoS for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said.
Addressing the valedictory function of the three-day ATAL (Arunachal Transformational and Aspirational Leaders) conclave here on Sunday, Sinha informed that the Centre will spend about Rs 1200 crore for the airport project at Hollongi.
He said a ritual (bhumi pujan) would be performed in December, before starting the construction of the airport.
“The proposed 2200-metre runway at Hollongi can handle jet aircraft which can provide direct flight services to the metro cities.
On-demand flight services can also be extended to international destinations,” Sinha said.
He informed that small and big towns in Arunachal would be connected with helicopter, seaplane and passenger drone services under the UDAAN scheme.
He also informed that the government is providing subsidy on helicopter services with Rs 2500 for half-an-hour air travel.
Later, speaking on the topic ‘Farm to frontier: A different development perspective model for India’, Sinha urged the youths of the state not to limit their thinking to their state only but come out to contribute for the country.
“Your ingenuity, talent and innovations will also benefit the rest of India,” he said.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu in his address said all the advanced landing grounds in the state would be made operational for air services connecting Itanagar, Tezu, and Pasighat airports, under the CM’s Air Connectivity Scheme.
“The tender for operating air services in the state has been completed and will be finalized soon,” he said.
Pema also informed that the DoNER ministry will spend about Rs 350 crore for starting the work on the Hollongi airport.
During the question-answer session with students, Pema, responding to queries over the delay in the execution of the work on the Itanagar-Naharlagun road, assured that the work, including blacktopping of the road, would be completed within this working session.
To a question on the commitment of the state government to nail the corrupt individuals involved in the highway scam, the chief minister said that, under the government’s zero-tolerance policy towards corruption, several high-ranking officials, a deputy commissioner, a businessman, and political leaders have been arrested.
He also announced to make the ATAL Conclave a calendar event from next year.
The union MoS later reviewed the status of the Hollongi airport with senior officers of the state government in a separate meeting to draw up a time-bound action plan for implementation of the dream project.

AAPSU welcomes move to start greenfield airport

Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has welcomed the recent announcement made by Union DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh to lay the foundation for construction of the Hollongi airport by December.
In a press statement, the AAPSU said the airport, being built by the Airports Authority of India, has taken a very long time due to the land compensation controversy.
“The AAPSU and the people of Arunachal Pradesh welcome the move of the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Pema Khandu for making a decisive effort to solve the dispute over the issue of land and resolving it,” the union said.
It appealed to the landowners to extend all cooperation to the authority in the greater interest of the state.
“The greenfield airport has been a cherished dream of every Arunachalee, which would boost the economy and connectivity to the rest of the world. The inordinate delay is a big setback for the state,” the release said.